Hadramout Governor to Yemen Times: Plenty of projects being launched in Hadramout [Archives:2002/48/Business & Economy]
The governor of Hadramout, Abdul qader Ali Helal, a person well-respected in the governorate, was appointed in April 2001. It’s his desire to achieve many projects for the governorate.
In fact, he will be remembered in the history of Hadramout if his dream projects for tourism in Khour Makssar could be achieved. The project consists of a canal to be dug in the al-Aiqa Valley to be connected with the sea. Yemen Times met with the governor to learn more of the infrastructure projects under implementation and other issues.
Q: What are current projects and opportunities available?
A: We’re now concentrating on infrastructure projects like electricity, roads, water and vocational education and qualifying the middle cadre. We also have put the fishery sector among our priorities for developing and marketing their production, hoping the Europeans will continue their support for fishery projects in Suqatra, and another fourth project.
We also give the investment sector a special interest because of its role in national economic development after a long time of having a lack of clear future strategy. Air photography in the coastal areas helped us overcome this problem and reclassify investment areas and provide it with essential services.
We are currently working on creating an investment atmosphere to update airports, establish a new prom port, providing good sewage for cities and villages and react to regional variables to cope with the economic development, something the Gulf countries are witnessing especially as Yemen is now part of some of the GCC institutions.
Q: It is noticeable that investment projects are focused on the construction level while ignoring the industrial sector. Why? Do you expect an investment revival in the near future? In which field?
A: The investment atmosphere in Hadramout is good for different investment aspects in different sectors for its good geographical nature. This is very encouraging to attract Arab and foreign capitals. Besides, Hadramout is very rich in its natural resources like gold, zinc, garnet, marble and a variety of agricultural products, like dates (there are 66 kind of dates), vegetables, corms, tobacco, henna, and citrus.
There is plenty of pure water and high quality of fish and sealife like shrimp and lobster and the best honey is in Hadramout. It has high quality honey like Dawa’ani. Hadramout also famous of its beautiful beaches and clean sands, historical cities and sanctuaries (Suqatra is the biggest Yemeni island) which has valuable tourist attraction as one of the 10th rare islands of the world. It has wide variety of rare plantation, 600 kinds, and 105 rare birds.
Some the political leadership is concentrated on developing the governorate through implementing different enterprises which will contribute to developing commercial waves and investment. Some of these projects are Tareem-Thamoud-Shahen road, which will connect the Yemen to the Gulf roads net through Oman, adding more than 50,000 phone lines to complete connections of the governorate provinces with the national net, completion of Suqatra airport so it can receive larger planes around the clock, and preparing the designs of the prom strategic port to a 16 m depth, and number of platforms of 300-350 m with the capacity for all types of ships and goods.
Another project is updating the Arrayan International Airport, to be used for exporting fresh fish according to the international standards that meets the world markets.
As we finish the technical aspects and studies of these two projects, the political leadership is intending to present them to the private sector Arab and foreign investors.
In fact, the governorate is witnessing a construction revival and investment development in various aspects. In the oil sector, there are 13 international firms of which includes Canadian Nexen, the biggest oil productive company with a production capacity of 200,000 barrels daily, the Australian Oil Search company was launched in sector (15) to conduct a marine seismic surveys in 1,000km length and another three-dimensional survey on 400 km square.
The good attendance of the foreign oil firms in Yemen is due to the facilities and privileges offered as the companies use all its components searching the oil. Then it can cover all the damages of the exploration stage and get its profits.
Regarding industrial sector, I can tell you that it is also witnessing a good revival, especially in transformational industries like fish canning and date-picking, besides the oil industries as a new refinery in Mukalla will be established with a productive capacity of 100,000 barrels daily which will cost US $900 million and make room for 1,500 workers. It is a project shared between national capital and gulf capital.
In the tourism sector, there is more than 70 tourist establishments. In addition, there is eight investment firms working in the fishing sector and the local councils have put the tourist sector in their top priority through establishing an investment committee headed by me to design a clear strategy for the investment operation and benefiting from the president’s instructions for tax-free sections of land where investment costs exceed US $10 million, and provide more facilities to the industrial areas. Further, we are preparing for a large investment conference in the governorate entitled “International meeting for investment,” for more investment promotions and presenting the unique privileges which distinguish Hadramout in the different fields.
Q: What are the projects now being implemented? What about the Khour Makssar project? What are the advantages of this project?
A: The government has witnessed a number of developmental projects. The main projects under implementation are the Mayfa’a-Hagar-al goal road which costs YR 1.3 billion, the rural area developmental project, al Mashad-Dawa’an road which is 97 km long and costs YR 1.1 billion, the road project of Ras Huaira-Aqabat khaliaht Baqshan, 57 km in length and US $6 million on the expenses of Shaikh Abdullah Ahmed Baqshan, and Adwass-Ghail bin Yamin-Sah, 85 km in length and costing US $6 billion with a contribution of Canadian Nexen and Total as well as other working firms in the region. The Sayoun Stadium, a technical industrial institute, a technical marine institute and the project of Al Amodi fills up with land inside the sea.
Other tourist project, which is being established by the local council, is a canal, 3 km in length, 70-150 m in width, to connect the sea with Al Eiqa, and constructing four hanging bridges between al Mukalla’s old zones, as well as establishing many other tourist establishments and parks.
Q: Do you think that the local councils experience are supporting governors and how do you asses the local council in Hadramout?
A: Although the experience of the local council is still in its early stage, there are some positive indications through the last two years of which is decentralization.
People in Hadramout are very peaceful regardless of the different parties they belong to, so the harmony and peace is very dominant, and the council is very competitive to offer the best model of the local councils experiences nationwide.